What Was Daily Life Like in Colonial Pennsylvania?
Hard work in the farming, forestry or mineral mining industries filled most days in the Pennsylvania colony. It held a diverse population that was religiously pious and hard working.
The Pennsylvania colony was officially established by a newly converted aristocratic Quaker, William Penn. He received the land grant as payment for a personal debt owed by the king to his father. The land he received was rich with natural resources including two river valleys, extensive forests and a large portion of the Appalachian Mountains. The English and its colonies despised the Quakers for refusal to pay taxes in support of war or participate in any acts of war. Philadelphia quickly became a refuge for Quakers in the New World.
Penn created the government on the basis of his religious beliefs, leading the colonists to govern themselves by establishing a colony council. He also established laws providing for education and prohibiting slavery. His government created the means necessary for indentured servants to become full citizens, or free men, after completing their service term regardless of religious beliefs or ancestry. This frame of government attracted citizens of all nationalities to the colony very quickly, causing its growth to surpass that of New York within a matter of a few years.
The lack of slaves in the colony meant everyone had to work hard on a daily basis while the children received an education in the colony schools. In addition, the pacifism exemplified by Penn helped launch several treaties with the local Native Americans. They remained peaceful throughout the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.